Exploratory drilling in the Four Corners-Intermountain area increased sharply in 1980, with 220 wells drilled. Drilling activity was up in all states. A total of 62 successful wells were completed, yielding a success rate of over 28%, up from 26% in 1979. Total exploratory footage drilled was up nearly 24% from 1979, with 1,103,356 ft drilled in all exploratory categories. Development drilling increased 15% from 1979, with 1,103 holes drilled, most of which were in the San Juan basin, as in previous years. The region’s most significant discovery was in the overthrust belt of northern Utah, where the Amoco 1 Bountiful Livestock flowed 4 mmcf gas/d and 1,054 bbl/d from the Jurassic Nugget Sandstone to open up the Anschutz Ranch East field. Amoco also drilled the Cave Creek field discovery well, the 1 Fawsett and Sons, with initial production of 40 mmcf gas/d and 681 bbl condensate/d from commingled Mississippian, Pennsylvanian, and Permian reservoirs. In southeastern Utah, Wexpro Company opened the Bug field with the 1 Bug well that flowed 608 bbl/d and 1,128 mcf gas/d from the Middle Pennsylvanian Desert Creek pay (Paradox). By year’s end, Bug field had five producing wells. One new gas field was discovered in the Uinta basin of Utah and one in the eastern San Juan basin of New Mexico. There were no discoveries in Arizona or Nevada. New drilling depth records were set in Nevada, northern New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona. Exploratory and development drilling trends indicate that activity will remain high in the area for 1981.

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